The Primal Roots of American Philosophy
Pragmatism, Phenomenology, and Native American Thought
Publication Year: 2000
Published by: Penn State University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Foreword: The Return of the Native in American Philosophy
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For a very long time American philosophers have found themselves in a situation of extreme futility. Wanting to be independent thinkersâwanting to articulate an authentically American philosophyâthey have all too often fallen into epigonic roles and mimetic...
Part One: Reclaiming Sources and Possibilities
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1. Looking Forward to the First Day
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Europeans crossing the Atlantic in the sixteenth century could smell the New World before they could see it: vegetationâs freshness wafted far across the waters. The âclassicâ American thinkersâThoreau, Emerson, Peirce, William James, Royce, Deweyâcould still smell it, in a real sense...
2. Black Elk, Thoreau, Emerson, and Their Aura
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I realize the position I take up in this book is radical. It goes against entrenched invidious distinctionsâthat set Europe and progress over the indigenous and the primal, for a prime example. In the usual way of presenting pragmatic thought, its emphasis on possibility and futurity...
3. William James, Black Elk, and the Healing Act
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These are tumultuous times for the institution of medicine. Natural sciences make spectacular strides that impact our deepest conceptions of self, body, healthâdiscoveries in genetics and in the neurotransmitters of the brain, to take two examples. At the same time...
4. James: âWild Beasts of the Philosophic Desertâ
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Between the burgeoning of Emersonâs writings in the 1830s to the 1850s and William Jamesâs in the period 1890â1910, there stands a world-historical divide: Darwinâs and Wallaceâs theories of evolution and the evidence for them. Nature comes to be conceptualized...
5. James on Truth: The Preeminence of Body and World
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James on truth may seem to be a worn-out topic. At least the epistemological aspect of Jamesâs thought has been thoroughly covered, has it not? Donât we know that James committed the howling error of confusing truth and confirmation of...
Part Two: Further Reclamations
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6. John Dewey: Philosopher and Poet of Nature
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Following Charles Darwin, and his own instincts and perceptions, John Dewey believes that experience can have integrity because it is integral with Nature. Yes, for better or worse, experience stretches beyond what Nature could provide without us, but its integrity requires...
7. Body-Mind and Subconsciousness: Dewey and Tragedy
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It is not easy to think of John Dewey as a tragic figure. There are too many photos of his kind grandfatherly face, of his dandling schoolchildren on his knee, or of his meeting notables. He achieved influence fairly early, and ultimately fame comparable...
8. Passion for Meaning: William Ernest Hockingâs Religious-Philosophical Views
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William Ernest Hocking is a major thinker unjustly forgotten. The reasons for this neglect are several, and throw light on our current situation: His addresses and publications, spanning the first years of this century to the 1960s, are of great subtlety, complexity...
9. Henry Bugbee: The Inward Morning
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Of all the ringing, luminous, consummatory expressions Henry Bugbee delivers in The Inward Morning, the above is the one I have settled on for epigraph. It summons each of us to discover what is most fulfillingâto discover what would explain each...
Part Three: Taking Stock
10. Ways of Knowing
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To think of knowledge today is to think mainly of scientific knowledge, and of this as distinctly Western or European science. Many centuries ago, the Chinese made important scientific discoveries: chemical, to produce gunpowder; astronomical...
11. Pragmatism, Neopragmatism, and Phenomenology: The Richard Rorty Phenomenon
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Traditionally, the chief function of every civilization has been to orient its members in the world. Time-proven ways of getting about and surviving are imparted ritualistically, ways of avoiding confusion, damage, disaster, ways perchance of flourishing...
12. William Jamesâs Prophetic Grasp of the Failures of Academic Professionalism
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Nearly a hundred years ago, William James was ahead of most of us. In âThe Ph.D. Octopusâ (1903), he foresaw the existential crisis into which the professionalization of disciplines and the segmentation and bureaucratization of the university were...
13. Charles Peirce on the Pre-Rational Ground of Reason
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Probably many have noticed what may appear to be a contradiction in Charles Peirceâs early âSome Consequences of Four Incapacities.â The heading for the fourth incapacity reads: âWe have no conception of the absolutely incognizable.â Yet just a few pages...
14. Shamanism, Love, Regeneration
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In delighted regard Blake opens to the bird, flows with it, is buoyed by it. He opens ecstatically to its world of delight. Ecstasy withers if Blake regards the classic five sensesâhis sight, hearing, touch, taste, smellâas merely inner sensations stimulated by five...
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Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2000
Series Title: American and European Philosophy
Series Editor Byline: General Editors: Charles E. Scott and John J. Stuhr, Associate Editor: Susan M. Schoenbohm